Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL’s) Rs 75,000 crore clean energy push has picked up pace as Reliance New Energy Solar has acquired REC Solar Holdings for $771 million. Reliance will also pick up a 40 percent stake in EPC player Sterling and Wilson Solar via a combination of primary investment, secondary share purchases and an open offer of Rs 2,850 crore.
Jyoti Gulia, founder at JMK Research, Anish De, partner, head, Energy, Natural Resources and Chemicals at KPMG in India, Gagan Sidhu, director at Council on Energy, Environment and Water-Centre for Energy Finance shared their views on the RIL’s latest acquisitions.
Anish De called the move ‘interesting’ as she said RIL is putting all the blocks together with all its plans coming together in reality. “Given that this is a full value chain play, this is how players like Reliance – the large ones – want to play it, all of that is coming together bit by bit,” he said.
According to De, more such announcements should be expected from Reliance and other large players as the paradigm has shifted in the energy industry.
Pointing to major issues with the existing players and domestic manufacturers at present, JMK Research’s Gulia said one is the technology competitiveness. “Compared to its global counterparts, India is still laggard in terms of technology adaptiveness and competitiveness. REC has a local base as well as a global presence. So, both things Reliance can leverage on with this acquisition,” she said.
She added that REC manufactures HJT modules - Heterojunction type of modules, which are very high-efficiency modules, and at present, the firm is the market leader in that.
Sidhu of Energy Finance said both the big acquisitions, and that over the weekend, are no small feat. It’s a testament to the fact that investors love Reliance’s execution capability, he added.
“Both these companies have the bulk of their business outside India. The energy transition of solar is much more mature vis-à-vis the others. What they are clearly doing is buying talent, buying technology and buying the knowhow and that is manifesting on the acquisition of REC as well as the sizeable investment into Sterling and Wilson Solar,” Sidhu explained.
For the entire discussion, watch the accompanying video.
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